Ladies bikes are very popular these days. Over the last few decades, the choice of lady's bikes and commuter bicycle clothing has skyrocketed. The once popular approach of just getting men's bikes and making a smaller size has been somewhat abandoned. Nowadays, we have ladies-specific geometries, ladies-specific saddles and plenty of other accessories and bike parts that are better suited to the ladies. Plenty of bicycle brands have ladies-specific models of their bikes, be it a mountain bike, or a road bike, or even a beach cruiser version for ladies. This is more or less what's helping change the image that cycling is a men's sport. It is not, and it shouldn't be seen as such.
Now, the cold hard truth is that, even though there are plenty of lady's bikes to choose from, as well as plenty of clothing and gear too, women still shy away from cycling. Some are afraid of the roads and the traffic, some think that's not a suitable image for them. Regardless of the excuse, that ought to change. So, where would a lady start? Naturally, they try to do some research and see where they stand. What kind of women's bike they do they need? Are they going to get a high-end mountain bike, or should they opt for a beach cruiser?
It's a simple answer
Just look at your needs, and what you'd use it for. The common solution if you're just getting in the sport is to get a good step through ladies' bike. Women's cruiser bikes are excellent for ladies. They're easy to get on, and off it, they have all the things you need to get around town, and there's plenty of choice in terms of which one to get. Getting a women's mountain bike, or a women's road bike, or even a hybrid bike, would be a mistake here.
Let's discuss ladies bikes' for a minute. As we said, there are a lot of questions to be answered, so let's try and take a look at them. At the end, hopefully you'll know why a step through bike is the best ladies bike and how to choose yours.
What is a step through ladies bike?
If you're looking at commuter bikes, or beach cruiser bike, you'll notice two main frame variants. The first one is the diamond frame, and the second one is the step through bike frame. You'll recognize the diamond frame by its horizontal top tube. This is exactly what caused a lot of problems for ladies. Having to get your leg over the frame is difficult - especially when you're wearing a skirt or a dress. This is why a diamond frame, even in a smaller size, is nothing more than a compromise. It is not a good ladies' bike. For that, you'll want a step through ladies bike. A step through bike has a top tube that's somewhat parallel to the down tube. This means that there is quite a gap where the top tube would commonly be on a diamond frame.
For women (and for some men, for that matter), this is excellent. You can easily get on or off the bike, regardless of your height, and regardless of what you're wearing. That fear of a bike not fitting your image, it's gone. You can wear anything you want on a bike like this, there's no limiting factor. Solving those issues was what gave us step through bikes in the first place, and boy have they been a success. Another thing you might notice with such a bike is that the pedals and crankset are a bit ahead when compared to the seat tube. This helps with comfort and adds to that upright seating position. Now, even though at one point, these bikes were quite a bit heavier, that's not the case nowadays. Technology advancements have solved this issue, and the bikes are now lightweight and incredibly easy to ride.
Is there a viable option?
One such option would be the Dreamer Step Through bike, one of the best beach cruiser bikes you can get today. It has that step through frame, a very comfortable saddle and plush tires, as well as all the accessories that you'd need with a ladies bike. But, more on that later. Let's take a look at all the advantages a step through ladies bike offers, and how they apply to the ladies. What you'll see is that there's nothing better than a step through bike for ladies, regardless of whether you need it for sport and recreation, or as your main means of transportation.
What are some of the advantages of a step through ladies bike?
If you've done any research at all, you might find that a step through bike is often just called a women's bike. That's not to say men can't ride them, or men don't ride them. They're just more suitable for ladies. However, it's not just the sex-specific advantages they come with. They also have a few other things going for them.
To begin with, we mentioned they're easy to mount and dismount. The fact that there's virtually no top tube means you only have to lift your leg slightly higher than the pedals and crankset. This is incredibly convenient, especially with women's clothes on. However, for some more advanced riders, there's another advantage. I live in a small town, where plenty of coffee shops deliver their coffee to local merchandise stores. How do they do this? On a step through bike. The low top tube means that a person can get on and off the bike with one hand and carry a tray with a couple of cups of coffee in the other one. Sure, this isn't a typical use for a step through ladies bike, but it is an advantage nevertheless.
It's also very useful if you're coming back from an injury that caused mobility issues. All things considered, it is incredibly easy to get on and off, which is useful in more than one situation, to say the least.
Comfort is another major thing
We should also mention comfort. This is a given with almost any cruiser bike, but a step through ladies bike has a bit of an edge here. You're getting an upright riding position with it, a saddle that's plush and soft, as well as handlebars at an angle that guarantees comfort. Regardless of whether you're using it as a means of transport, or recreation, it will not disappoint you in any way. You can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours on it, without feeling fatigued due to the geometry not being suitable for ladies.
This comfort doesn't only apply on a bike path. Want to get to work, but need to go through a street filled with potholes? Chances are you won't even feel most of them. Do you need to buy groceries on your way back, but are afraid they'll get damaged by the time you get home? Not gonna happen. The plush tires, vibration absorbing frame and comfortable geometry take care of all these things.
A step through ladies bike is confidence inspiring
There are a lot of people, not just ladies, that are afraid of riding around the city. And with traffic being hectic in a lot of cities around the world, we couldn't blame them. However, doing it on a lady's bike is a bit different. The issue with a diamond frame bike is that you can't get on and off that easily, and honestly, that can be scary. However, that's not the case with a step through ladies bike. Now, combine this with the comfortable and relaxed geometry, what do you get? A lightweight bike that's easy to maneuver, simple to ride, and fast to get on and off. Especially in a situation where you need to constantly start and stop, a step through ladies bike can be incredibly useful, and inspire confidence you won't find with another bike.
Last but not least, they're incredibly practical
This one might be a bit more ladies-focused, but we're talking about the best ladies bike after all. Clothing is an important part of anyone's life. When you're going to work, you want to dress for the job, not for the ride to get there. With a regular diamond frame, this is difficult. We mentioned that you're pretty much limited to jeans and pants, or bicycle apparel, as a dress or a skirt is pretty much a no-go. When you need to get to a meeting, you can't show up in a pair of sweatpants - you need a professional attire. And you don't have to worry about it with a ladies bike with a step through frame - just put on whatever you think is the most suitable clothes. They won't get caught up in the chain, you won't get them dirty, and you can get on and off the bike while wearing them.
What's a really good ladies bike?
In your quest for the best ladies bike, you'll find a lot of them. From cheap ones, to high end bikes, there's absolutely no shortage of choice. However, not all of them are worth your money. Regardless of whether you're just getting into bikes or have a few at home and need a new step through bike, there's one model that really stands out. We're talking about the Dreamer Step Through. It has a lot going for it, and not a single thing against it. It's a ladies bike vintage style model. Let's take a look at the bike, and see why this is not only an excellent ladies bike, but a great value proposition as well.
To begin with, you can get the bike in two configurations. Depending on how you want your lady's bike to be equipped, you could opt for either the Beautiful Bicycle, which has accessories such as bags, panniers and other small details, or the Bike with Basket, which has a knitted basket. This basket can come in very handy in quite a few situations, but more on that below. You could go for either of those, just figure out what's more important for you. This is the only thing that you need to choose. Everything we'll discuss about below is standard on the bike, and it has a lot of features you'll love. Let's begin.
The frame is amazing
The first, and largest thing about the whole bike, is the frame. This one has a high tensile steel frame. Now, you might be thinking that aluminum is better than steel, but that's not always the case. A ladies bike aluminum frame can be damaged more easily. Steel is also a bit better with vibration absorption, especially with this kind of frame build. Since you'll be buying a ladies bike for comfort and convenience, vibration absorption is actually a very welcome feature.
Another thing apart from the choice of materials is the build quality. If a frame isn't built well, it'll easily degrade due to being constantly exposed to the elements, and even easier if you don't take care of it. However, you won't have that happening with this ladies bike - it's built like a tank. Sure, you might not notice this at first. But as time passes, and you see other bikes deteriorating, while yours is still in an excellent condition, you'll be happy you went with this bike.
The whole bike is also very lightweight, thanks to the frame and the component selection. At 30 pounds for a bike this well-equipped, it'll handle very well, which is always an advantage.
Last but not least, there's the geometry. With a ladies bike, or any cruiser bike for that matter, you have an upright seating position. This is very important, as it puts much less stress on areas of your body that aren't meant to put up with stress. You don't have to lean on the handlebars, you don't have to feel uncomfortable when you're riding for longer periods of time. This should stay with racing bikes, not ladies bikes like the one you use on a daily basis.
The 7 speed drivetrain is the best choice for a ladies bike
Whenever you're riding around town, chances are there will be both uphills and downhills. If you only have a single speed ladies bike, this might be a problem. Having to ride your bike uphill in a difficult gear is tricky, and it's even worse if you're tired from work, or you have groceries in your basket. The solution, however, is easy - get a geared bike, that's the best option. You don't even need those 27-speed options, 7 speeds are enough. What you get is a reliable drivetrain that will let you both ascend and descend at a pace and difficulty that is comfortable for you. Even if you aren't well versed in climbing hills, the drivetrain will ease you into it.
As far as maintenance goes, you won't really need to do any. Just make sure you keep the drivetrain clean and it should work very well. The groupset of choice is extremely reliable, and you shouldn't need to take it to a bike shop for service often, maybe once every few months? This ladies bike is made to last, and made for you to enjoy it while it does. Therefore, it won't require nearly as much service as another bike would.
There are plenty of options on the market in terms of gears, but what you really want in a ladies bike is a 7 speed drivetrain. Having one can be really fun, and it will make your whole riding experience a pleasure.
You'll want reliable brakes on your women's bicycle
Having a bike that goes fast is really fun, but you'll want to stop at some point. Brakes are something that must be extremely reliable, regardless of the bike, and your style of riding. You might see those fixie bike messengers running around town and think "I can do that without brakes", but that would be a mistake. Even they had brakes when they started out, and they still have a way of stopping the bike.
With the Dreamer, you'll get an excellent pair of brakes. They stop quickly, and they allow for plenty of modulation. Handy when you just want to slow down instead of coming to a complete stop. They're made of high-quality materials as well, which means they won't lose their braking properties over time. There are many brakes that are made from slim pieces of metal that bend over time, and tend to stop braking good. These aren't of that kind, and you can be sure that you will stop whenever you want, or need to.
To be completely honest with you, brakes are one of those components that you don't want to cheap out on. And if you get the Dreamer, you won't have to worry about the brakes on your lady's bike, and their safety.
It's not just the brakes that add safety, but the bicycle lights and bell as well
When you're riding around town, you don't want to have to worry about people being able to see and hear you. We live in a world where people walking around on bike paths is common, and drivers often neglect cyclists completely. Bike paths are also not that well maintained, and might have a pothole or two. You will want to be able to see them. This is why lights and a bell are essential bike accessories for any bike.
Well, the Peace Bicycles Dreamer has them, and they work admirably. First of all, you have a front and back light. Using the front one, you can clearly see what's happening in front of you. This is very welcome when you're riding in the dark, and chances are you'll need to do this once in a while. However, you also want to be seen when riding at night, and that's where the rear red light comes in. Any car or bike coming behind you can clearly see you're there, so they can circle around you and avoid you. Lights are even required by law in some places of the world, and it's a great thing that the bike comes with them. You won't have to spend any extra money on that.
And then there's the bell. As we mentioned, there are often people in the places we're riding, and you should have a way of warning them you're coming up from behind. The best way to do this is with a handlebar mounted bell. It's easily accessible, you don't have to get your hands off the handlebar, and it's loud enough so you can be sure people do hear you.
Wide, balloon tires will make for a very comfortable ladies vintage bike
Wrapping up the "why you want this bike" list, we have the tires. When discussing factors that can make or break the comfort of a bike, it's usually the frame, ladies bike seat saddle and tires. The tires are the main contact point between the bike and the surface you're riding on. Having wide, plush tires, like the ones that come on the Dreamer, can be great. They have a wide contact surface, which makes sure you don't skid out, and they absorb a lot of vibrations. There's actually nothing that's more comfortable than these tires. A road racing bike usually comes with skinny tires that are made to go fast, but aren't at all comfortable for city riding.
They aren't just comfortable, but they're also confidence inspiring. The fact that you won't feel a lot of the vibrations from the road makes sure that you feel safe and planted on the road. You won't worry about a small stone or a small hole throwing you completely off balance, which lets you relax and focus on enjoying the ride. The tires are Schwalbe's Fat Frank, and they also have a Kevlar guard. This might not be something you've even given thought, but such a protective layer can save you from a lot of punctures out on the road. There's an extra stiff layer inside the tire that blocks out any thorns or sharp pieces of glass, ensuring they don't get to the inner tube at all.
Let's answer a few questions
Even though we did our best to explain what a ladies bike should have, and why the Dreamer is very well the best ladies bike at the moment, there still might be some questions you want answers to. Concerns such as maintenance, weight and noise might be a deal breaker for you, so we'll do our best to make those clear before you buy your bike. Let's take a look.
How much time and money will I need to put into maintenance?
The short answer is "not a lot". But you're not here for the short answer. This 7 speed ladies bike is actually a very simple bike. You don't have complex components such as a suspension fork or hydraulic brakes. These are things that not only require to be serviced often, but the service itself costs quite a bit as well. Here, the most complicated component you have is the 7 speed rear derailleur - and that's a piece of cake to service, too.
In terms of time, a basic cleaning and chain lubrication is all that needs to be done every once in a while. This also depends on how often you ride it, but if you use your lady's bike daily, you'll want to at least do this once a week. Fortunately, it is very easy. Just clean your bike with a rag, or wash it with water. Once that's done, get chain lube and put some on the chain. Spin it for a bit, go through all of the gears to get some lube on all of them, and wipe the excess. Simple as that.
Money is more or less the same story - you'll only need to buy lube once in a while. If there's anything else that needs to be serviced, chances are it's pretty easy. You could either do it yourself, or take it to a bicycle service. A bicycle service shouldn't ask for too much, even if it's something like a derailleur readjustment or brakes resetting.
The Dreamer is, apart from the lightweight step through frame, very similar to a regular bike in terms of components. Therefore, whatever you'd do with a regular bike, you'd do here as well. There's just less things to service, making it even better.
Is it fast?
Yes. Many step through bikes tend to come with either a single speed, or a three speed transmission. That is fairly limiting in terms of how fast you can go with such a bike. However, with the 7 speed transmission this ladies bike has, you can go fairly fast. And, on the other end of the spectrum, you can also climb a hill or two here and there, which is another welcome thing.
However, we would advise that you don't try to push it too hard. This kind of bike is primarily made for getting around, and running a few errands here and there. It is not made for racing, or for hard training sessions. Therefore, using it as such might stress the bike more than it's meant to handle.
With that being said, this is a bike that's built to last. If you want to go a bit faster, you can. If you want to climb a hill or two, you can do that too. Just be realistic with what you put it through - it's a ladies bike, not a racing bike.
What about reliability?
Reliability is one of the places where the Dreamer ladies bike excels. The frame is built incredibly well, and all the components are carefully chosen so that they're both durable, and perform great. As we mentioned, maintenance is actually a piece of cake, and won't end up costing you a lot of money. If you just invest a bit of your time into it, you can be sure that it'll last for a good while. And you won't have to worry about components breaking down while you're out and about - that won't be happening with this ladies bike.
Is the bike easy to ride?
Well, it's a general rule that step through bikes are easy to ride. The Dreamer is no exception, and you can be sure that you can ride it anywhere with ease. Flat terrain, uphills, downhills, through the streets, on the beach, you can go pretty much anywhere, and not worry about anything. The geometry puts you in an upright position that's very comfortable. You also get handlebars with a backsweep that don't put any stress on your hands and shoulders, and let you maneuver the bike through the streets really easily. Add to that the choice of components that are easy to use and maintain, and you've got yourself a winner on your hands.
Does it weigh a lot?
Not at all. We mentioned that the frame is lightweight, but it doesn't end there. All the components, from the derailleur and brakes, to the wheels and the crankset, and all the accessories, are a careful combination of steel and aluminum materials. The bike has the ideal compromise between weight and comfort. There are no components that make it stiff or uncomfortable to ride, and they're also lightweight as well. If you're looking for the perfect middle ground between a lightweight bike, and one that has good ride qualities, this is it. Look no further.
Is it loud?
We've had this question quite a bit, as there are a lot of people who just don't want their bike to make noise. They want to get on it, ride it and enjoy it, without any creaking parts or weird noises coming out of it. This is a ladies bike that does manage that. You won't have any noise that's not supposed to be there, and the most you'll hear is the rear cassette quietly buzzing. If you're after a peaceful ride, this is where you'll find it.
Is a step through frame female bike safe to ride?
Yes, by all means. They're easy to get on and off and they can be maneuvered really easy as well. The Dreamer even has extra safety features, such as lights and a bell. You won't have to worry about people being able to see and hear you. There are also the brakes that are incredibly reliable, so you can stop whenever you feel the need to do so. A step through bike, especially the Dreamer, is as safe as a ladies bike can get!
However, we would still recommend that you wear a helmet. Regardless of whether you're out for fun, or are trying to get somewhere, a helmet is a must. It's also required by law in some places, so make sure you have one.
Will it fit me?
Even though with a lot of bikes, fit is a matter of size and preference, that's not the case with the Dreamer. The frame has a unique design that means it fits anyone. It's mainly built as a ladies bike, but regardless of your height, weight, or body build, you can ride it with ease. The bike's main goal is to be accessible, and it does that very well. This shouldn't be a concern for you.
Where would I find any replacement parts for it?
You can find both the Dreamer ladies bike, and all parts and accessories, at Peace Bicycles.
Will I need a license for this ladies bike?
The Dreamer ladies bike is a mechanical bicycle like many others, and not an electric bike. And, just like with all others, you don't need any license for it. It is made to abide to the laws, a fact that is only supported with all the safety features that come with it.
Does it come with a warranty?
Just like any bike you'd buy from Peace Bicycles, the Dreamer ladies bike also has the full manufacturer's warranty. Chances are you won't need it, but if you want peace of mind, it is there.
What about transporting it?
This is a question that deserves its own section. Transporting a step through frame isn't always identical to transporting a diamond frame. The diamond frame requires different attachment points. Some racks can't accommodate a step through ladies bike. However, there are always options. Let's take a look at how you could transport your new Dreamer ladies bike.
There are a couple of options. If you don't want to buy a mount, you can always remove one of the wheels, or both. Then just put it inside your car. If you have rear seats that fold down, you might even do without any wheel removal. However, if you don't have room, or don't want to disassemble your bike, there are alternatives. You could get a hitch mounted rack, or a trunk mounted one. If both don't work, you could opt for a roof rack, too. All of these options are great.
A hitch mounted platform rack
This is the crowd's favorite. It holds the bike by the wheel, and it's either hitch or towball mounted. It's the easiest to mount, and the fastest when you need to get the bike on and off often. This is a permanent investment, as the rack is attached to your car. It is sturdy and durable, and there's no maintenance cost. It takes around a minute to mount. However, it might interfere with your trunk access. Many models tend to have the ability to fold down, though, so this isn't that much of an issue.
Know that you will need a good hitch here. There are a couple of sites, such as Curt, that let you type in what car you have, and they recommend you the right hitch.
A trunk rack (and a frame adapter)
A trunk-mounted rack is a fairly cheap investment, and it's very versatile. You can put it on almost any car, and it's quick to mount and remove. It's also portable, so you can use it on multiple cars. If you only use it every once in a while, you can remove it and mount it any time you need it.
However, attaching it and removing it before and after each trip can be time consuming. And, if you have more than a single bike, they may bump into each other every so often.
And last but not least, you'll need a frame adapter, such as this Rhino one. The Swagman pictured below is a good alternative, too. A step through frame doesn't have a horizontal top tube, which is what a trunk rack holds your bike by. Therefore, without a frame adapter, you can't use a trunk rack with your ladies bike.
A roof rack
A roof rack is by far the most versatile option. However, getting a quality one might be a bit expensive. You'll want a lock on it, and you'll want it to be secure and stiff. Note that you will also need a bit of strength to lift your bike, and mount it. Fortunately, the Dreamer ladies bike is lightweight, so this won't be much of an issue.
This does have downsides, however. A roof rack limits you with clearance, as the height of the bike is added to your car's height. If you can live with this, a roof rack is an excellent option for you.
Consider a Sea Sucker bike rack
If you don't find any of the options above attractive, or suitable, you might want to take a look at the Sea Sucker racks. They might seem a bit pricey, but they're an excellent choice. The way they work is they have a suction cup at the front and back. This lets you mount them on any car, without needing any roof rack or towball.
You can get a Sea Sucker rack for one, or more bikes, and there are adapters for various mounts. The front wheel is removed, and you can either store it inside the car, or get this wheel holder they also have. You attach the bike to the rack with the rear wheel, and the front axle. And don't worry - there are plenty of axle options that they offer. This is an incredible and easy way to transport your ladies bike.
Wrapping things up
We could talk about this bike for hours, and still have things to say about it. It has plenty of features that will keep you happy. It is also an incredibly comfortable ladies bike. If you want a bike that both looks good, performs admirably, and lasts a good while, it doesn't get any better than this!
And, it's not just the bike. The accessories that come with it are amazing, too. The basket, the front and rear lights, the bell, they all make up an incredible ladies bike. If you're after one that has everything, look no further.
As we said, a ladies bike is more than just getting any old bike in size small, or extra small. The Dreamer has a lot of thought put into it. It's designed to accommodate a lady and her requirements, and it does so admirably. You won't find a better ladies bike out there!